Location Childwall Road Wavertree
Map location exact or closely approximate
Year opened 1796
Year closed c.1840
Century of Operation 1700-1799, 1800-1899
Building Type Lock-Up
Remarks Wavertree Society arranges for this lock-up to be opened for members of the public to visit during Heritage Open Weekend in September.
'This is a small octagon building, containing but one cell, situated quite by itself on a piece of open ground by the road side. In wet weather the land about it is quite a marsh, and the cell is in consequence damp. The wet soaks in also through the ceiling of the cell. Over the cell is a room, to which there is now no access whatever, the entrance having been bricked up some time ago, in consequence of an escape by means of this entrance. The lock up house belongs to the township, but it under the jurisdiction of the county magistrates. The cell is 13 1/2 feet wide, and 8 feet high ... The cell is dark. There is an open fire place, but the police inspector who has charge of the lock up stated that it was never used. The chimney to this fire place is the only provision for ventilation. The door does not fit well, and persons on the outside can converse with prisoners ... The guard bed was lately broken, and cannot now be used; and there is nothing but loose straw for the bedding.'
Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain IV. Northern District, Thirteenth Report (Parl. Papers, 1847-8, XXXVI.361), p.82
'Wavertree's octagonal Lock-up was built of local yellow sandstone in 1796, at the expense of the villagers. ... Originally the Lock-up had a flattish roof, and it was not unknown for friends of the prisoners to hide behind the parapet while knocking a hole in the roof! A small stove was installed to keep the prisoners warm, and they were supplied with food and water, but otherwise there were few home comforts. It is said that cholera victims were dumped there to isolate them from the rest of the village; and in the 1840s the Lock-up served as temporary accommodation for destitute Irish families trekking out from Liverpool into the surrounding countryside. By this time the Lock-up was no longer needed for its original purpose, as a proper Police Station had opened in the High Street (on the site of the present Wavertree Gardens flats). The building gradually fell into decay, until in 1868 its owners the Wavertree Local Board of Health contemplated demolition.'
Mike Chitty (Wavertree Society), 'Wavertree Lock-up', Mersey Times, BBC Website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool/localhistory/mersey_times/issue_01/lock_up.shtml)
Archive name: Liverpool Record Office
Catalogue ref: 352 ENG/2/20
Description: Old Lock-Up, Wavertree, photograph.